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How to Make a Disciple's Cross

Nails are the foundation of the disciple's cross.
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Disciple's crosses are popular pieces of jewelry among some groups of Christians. In most cases, the crosses are worn as pendants, but can also be affixed to key chains, used as rear-view mirror ornaments, or added to strands of prayer beads. The crosses are usually made from nails, which represent the nails used in the Crucifixion, and incorporate a leather binding, which signifies how the owner is bound to Christ. Making a disciple's cross is labor intensive and intricate, but with the right tools it can be a fun and inspirational craft.

Things You'll Need:

  • Block Of Wood
  • 4 Nails, Size 3 Or 3.5 Inches
  • Rubber Band
  • Vice Grips
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 22 Gauge Wire

Making a Disciples Cross Necklace

Rest the head of two nails, one at a time, against the block of wood.

Use your vice grip to bend each nail to a right angle, using the block of wood as your guide. Hold the nail in the center with the sharp tip of the nail going into the vice grip and the head of the nail facing out.

Set these nails aside to form the top of the cross. For the bottom of the cross, grip two nails at one third of the way down, and create the same right angle bend.

Bend a hook into each of the nails, one at a time. Using pliers, grip the top third of the nail, closest to the tip, and bend to a right angle.

Continue curving each nail down until it forms a square or triangular loop. Either will work.

Align the nails to set out a basic outline of your cross, with loops at the top and bottom. Each bent nail should form one quarter of the cross. Do this on a flat surface, like a table.

Use your vice grips to secure a top and bottom nail together. This will form half a cross. Adjust your vice grips to make sure both nails are flush against each other, creating a smooth edge.

Measure out your wire, approximately four times the length of your cross. Bring the ends of the wire together and fold them, making a "V" shape.

Slip the bottom of the "V" through the top loop of the cross, pulling one end of the wire through. Holding the wire tightly, begin wrapping the other end of the wire around the arm of the cross being held by the vice grips. Once you reach the grips, release the half cross. It should remain intact, provided the wire has been wrapped tightly enough. Repeat this step for the second half of the cross, leaving the excess wire on the top loops.

Wrap the length of the cross with wire. Secure the bottom edges of the cross tightly with a rubber band, making sure they are flush together. Measure out the wire, again to about four times the length of the cross. Bring the bottom pieces together, this time making a fold at about one third of the wire, creating a lop-sided "V" shape.

Place the corner of the "V" shape at the intersection of the cross, creating an "X" at the joint. Gripping an arm of the cross, wrap the wire first for the top, and then for the bottom. When you reach the rubber band, remove it and continue wrapping.

Remove the grip from the last remaining arm of the cross, and wrap the wire by hand. Using wire cutters, cut off the excess. Smooth any sharp edges with pliers.

Attach the cross to a leather cord, if desired. Place the cross face down in front of you, and slip the two ends of the cord through the two loops at the top of your cross.


You can change the look and feel of your cross by using colored wire, or experimenting with different sizes of nails.


  • Always use caution when using wire cutters and pliers. Work in a well-lit area with plenty of open space to minimize the chance of injury.
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